Working prenatally with my Denver City Rolfing clients, I have the opportunity to ease discomfort and help woman better adjust to the changes their body undergoes through pregnancy.
Prenatal Rolfing can be beneficial throughout the entire nine months of the pregnancy; however, if you are having a high risk pregnancy it is best to discuss your condition with your midwife or physician before seeking a Certified Rolfer. After doing so you may be able to receive Rolfing sessions with a written release.
Prenatal Rolfing can include anything from a full body to light work that might include other modalities such as circulatory work, reflexology or cranial sacral therapy. Many Rolfers who work prenatally are trained not only to do Rolfing but various other modalities as well.
It is best to seek out a Rolfer with experience working prenatally, because it is important to know and understand what is and is not safe for the mother and her baby as well as having knowledge of pregnancy and the anatomy of a pregnant woman. Proper positioning of the mother changes as her pregnancy progresses; for example, after a woman is 22-weeks-pregnant it is no longer safe for her to lay on her back. There are deep blood vessels that can be restricted due to the weight of the baby, causing decreased circulation for both the mother and her unborn child. Also, there are certain areas on the mother that are best to be avoided during massage. One such area is the space between her heal and the ankle bone — an area that represents the uterus and vagina. It is thought by many reflexologists, those who practice acupressure and massage therapists that a lot of pressure to this area might cause early labor.
A typical prenatal Rolfing session generally takes at least 60 minutes and can go on up to 90 minutes. The mother will be supported with pillows as she lies on her side. She will be loose fitting clothes and only the body part that is being worked will be exposed. Most Rolfers like to keep their room quiet and at a comfortable temperature for the mother, sometimes playing quiet music in the background. It is best to avoid eating a large meal before the session or drinking large amounts of liquids.
Benefits that a mother may experience:
- Reduces swelling in hands, feet and ankles
- Lessens sciatic pain
- Eases muscular discomforts in areas like the low back & neck, calf cramps, it also helps with tension and tightening that can be experienced throughout the body
- Tones lose muscles relaxes tense muscles and can help increase flexibility.
- Helps with relaxation which in turn can decrease insomnia
- Increases blood and lymph flow which can help increase the elimination of toxins through the circulatory and lymphatic systems, this can also help with fatigue.
- Increases oxygen in the blood, sometimes on up to 10-15% after a session.
- Strengthens the immune system
- Stimulates the release of endorphins the body’s natural pain killers, into the brain and nervous system.
- Helps relieve anxiety or depression
- Helps increase blood circulation, which in turn delivers more oxygen and nutrients to the mother and baby.
- Can be used during the birth as well as after making both experiences easier and more comfortable
- Eases stress mothers often feel after the birth
There are many more benefits! This list will hopefully give you an idea of how beneficial Rolfing can be during pregnancy.
For more information visit www.denvercityrolfing.com
Many of my Denver City Rolfing clients are athletes. These active Colorado people enjoy outdoor activities and are looking for the best ways to keep their bodies in top shape.
Here is an excellent article by Rolfer Brad Jones, explaining the benefits of Rolfing for athletes. Enjoy!
A Competitive Edge: Rolfing for Athletes
I work with recreational, competitive, and professional athletes to further their performance, aide in injury recovery and help reduce the wear and tear of training. This approach varies from individual sessions to approaches that span a competitive season. Many clients use Rolfing to manage acute and chronic pain associated with past injuries. These approaches may not require the completion of a full series of sessions and can be tailored to each client’s needs.
An important part of that tailoring is to gather as much information as possible about the demands of that athlete’s sport and how it relates to what the athlete is experiencing in his or her body. Watching the athlete in action, either live or on video, is extremely helpful in collecting important diagnostic facts. For example, while working with world record paddler Brandon Nelson, I gained a great deal of knowledge watching a video of Brandon paddling in a race. This information helped me understand how his physical structure had adapted to the very specific, repetitive movements of endurance paddling. What I see and feel in the athlete’s structure plus the movements and demands of the athlete’s sport are all pieces of a puzzle.
Prior to beginning the “hands on” portion of a session, I analyze the athlete’s physical structure while standing and moving. A series of functional movement screens provide me with invaluable information about range of motion and restrictions. After reviewing the results I can more easily make structural or “hardware” changes to an athlete’s body by working fascia, ligaments, tendons and bones. When the “software” of the central nervous system/brain maps changes, the effects of Rolfing become long lasting. The moment an athlete develops an awareness of their unconscious movement patterns things start to click. The structural work during the sessions allows them to feel things differently within their body. As soon as it is easy for them to realize and make changes to movement patterns, the athlete becomes an active participant in the process of healing. A true golden moment.
Kristen Carter (photo courtesy of TMitchellPhoto.com)
I have been fortunate to help elite Bellingham runners Amber Morrison and Kristen Carter prepare for major events – Amber prior to the Boston Marathon and Kristen prior to the Columbus and Boston Marathons. For both, I worked small biomechanical issues and structural patterns in order to keep their bodies tuned up and feeling fresh during their important training time. My detail-oriented sessions with runners like Amber and Kristen, who often log close to 100 miles per week, focused on maintaining structural alignment and fluid movement, something quite different than massage.
Athletic clients often tell me that Rolfing helps them find their center of balance which gives them a competitive advantage, both mentally and physically. Rolfing profoundly affects an athlete’s range of motion as well as breathing capacity. When the ribcage is freed, ribs move in six directions: up, down, right, left, front and back. The entire body system becomes a sort of bellows. Without shortness in chest and back restricting the ability to breath, the ribs are able to fully flex.
Although I love working with clients from all walks of life, I especially enjoy working with athletes because they are truly motivated to meet goals and stay healthy. They understand that our work together is a process and they need to be involved in that work. It may be subtle work for them, but it is very important. They usually understand the importance of being proactive with their bodies, instead of waiting for an injury to occur before coming in for a session. It is extremely rewarding for me to be a small part in helping my clients to achieve success and reach their goals.
For more information. Visit Denver City Rolfing at www.denvercityrolfing.com